I’ve mentioned before that my small group handed out Bibles at an event downtown. Many of the people who were there are from different religious backgrounds. Some have never opened a Bible before, let alone heard about Jesus. Well, we are going to be meeting on Sunday with those that requested follow-up. We’ll be dividing into small groups to talk about Jesus.
The truth is, last time I was involved with leading a small group, it sank faster than the Titanic. And I know better than anyone all of the ways that I mess up every single day. I keep asking myself, Am I good enough to be a part of this? Then I have to remind myself that no one is good enough. We’re all just a bunch of sinners saved by grace.
That’s the beauty of the gospel.
I’m not saying that as a way of excusing the sin in my life. No way! As Paul said, “What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?” (Romans 6:1-2).
Grace is not an excuse to sin! But the fact of the matter is, we are going to mess up. “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23). All means all. We all sin. We all fall short. We all fail.
I am a failure. A big, huge failure. Hear me out. When I say that, I’m not feeling sorry for myself or speaking negative things over my life. It says right in the Bible that I’ve failed.
And, well, so have you.
But it doesn’t end there! The apostle Paul failed too. He says, “What a terrible failure I am! Who will save me from this sin that brings death to my body? I give thanks to God. He will do it through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 7:24-25).
You see, when it comes to failure, there are two aspects to God’s grace: Grace is there to cover our failures and grace is there to help us overcome our failures. We don’t need to continue to walk in failure because Jesus provided everything we need to live a life of success!
I wasn’t leaning on grace when I did this the last time. I was puffed up, full of my own importance. When my small group closed down, I blamed it on everybody else and swore up and down that I would never be involved in discipling people again. I didn’t think that I had what it takes.
I was right. I don’t have what it takes. But that’s why, as Sunday approaches, I find myself leaning heavily on God’s grace. That grace is the only thing I have to offer to others.
Do you see the difference? Before, I was trying to do things in my own strength. In other words, I was trying offer myself. This time, I realize that all I have to give to anyone is Jesus.
One last verse. Colossians 3:17 says, “Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.”
That, right there, is the key.
We can move forward confidently, the past behind us, armed with the knowledge that His grace is all we need. It’s all that the people around us need too.